Move past Anwar-Mahathir feud, say pundits

Move past Anwar-Mahathir feud, say pundits

Observers say that the animosity between PH chairman Anwar Ibrahim and his one-time boss Dr Mahathir Mohamad is likely to continue, ruling out the possibility of partnership between the two in the next general election. – The Malaysian Insight file pic, September 26, 2022.

ANIMOSITY between Pakatan Harapan (PH) chairman Anwar Ibrahim and his one-time boss, Dr Mahathir Mohamad is likely to continue, ruling out the possibility of partnership between the two in the next general election, observers said. 


Speaking to The Malaysian Insight, political pundits said the two should move on and come up with new policies and ideas instead of dwelling on the past. 


Iman Research programme director Badrul Hisham Ismail said the friction between the two had lasted for decades and it was time for the nation to move on. 


“We should move on from Anwar and Dr Mahathir. We have been dealing with both of them since the 1980s when Anwar was the deputy and Mahathir was the chief,” he said. 


“Dr M has made a lot of mistakes since the 80s, and most of the problems started with him.” 


He added that Anwar was not to be blamed for many of the policies. 


Anwar was Dr Mahathir’s right-hand man but the Penang-born leader was sacked in 1998 over allegations of being a homosexual. 


Anwar left Umno to form PKR but was later jailed. 


The two reconciled in 2018 just before the last general election, when Dr Mahathir led his former party Bersatu. 


Pakatan Harapan picked Dr Mahathir as prime minister after winning the polls, on the condition that he make way for Anwar after two years. 


That didn’t happen, and after the collapse of the PH government, Dr Mahathir went on to found Pejuang. 


No reconciliation 


Hisomuddin Bakar of Ilham Centre said it is clear that PKR and Pejuang will not work together. 


“It is certain that there will be no understanding, no cooperation between the two parties for the election,” he said. 


“They won’t reconcile because each has its own opinion. PKR and Pejuang should move on and they should not allow history to repeat itself.” 


On Friday, Anwar said that the Pakatan Harapan government could not carry out reforms when it was in power because it was then led by a “non-reformist” leader. 


He said Dr Mahathir, in his second stint as the prime minister, had reverted to racial politics, which ran contrary to PH’s multiracial agenda. 


“We (PH) did undertake some measures, reforms, but it was half-hearted because the leader of this so-called reform government was not a reformer. 


“He does not believe in reform,” Anwar said at a press conference at the Foreign Correspondents Club of Thailand, in Bangkok. 


In response to Anwar, Pejuang information chief Ulya Uqamah Husamudin said that during the coalition’s 22 months in power, it had fulfilled 53 of its manifesto promises. 


He said the then finance minister Lim Guan Eng had stated in December 2019 that PH had delivered 60% of its election pledges. 


Some of pledges, Ulya said, had to be put on hold because of the nation’s weak fiscal position and economic challenges, which the PKR president had acknowledged. 


Dr Mazlan Ali of Universiti Teknologi Malaysia said the political leaders must put the people first. 


“What we need now is a stable government, a vibrant economy, and jobs for everyone. 


“Come up with a good manifesto instead of blaming one another. Nothing positive can come from that.” – September 26, 2022. 

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